KC Chiefs select cornerback Thakarius Keyes in seventh round

The Kansas City Chiefs traded back into the draft in the seventh round in order to be able to select cornerback Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes.

Just when you thought that Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach had traded his aggressive ways for that of the patient Super Bowl winner, the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft provided a last gasp of sorts for Veach to do his thing. In this instance, he swapped a sixth round choice in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for their seventh round choice and a chance to select Tulane cornerback Thakariuis “BoPete” Keyes.

Keyes was a late addition to the draft class given that the Chiefs only had five picks coming into the draft and none at all after the fifth round—a choice used on Michigan edge rusher Michael Danna. The team traded their original sixth and seventh round choices for linebacker Darron Lee and safety Jordan Lucas, respectively.

Keyes is a cornerback from Tulane with nice size at 6’1, 202 lbs. who found a starting role in 2018 as a junior and put together two solid campaigns in the Green Wave’s secondary. Last year, he had 47 total tackles, 4 pass breakups, and 1 interception.

Given the Chiefs move to trade up for him, it’s likely safe to say that they knew getting him as an undrafted free agent was going to be competitive. Scouts like his length and physical nature and the Chiefs have done well in recent years with developmental corners. If they believe there’s good clay to mold, then Veach made the right to secure the player in his sights. Only time will tell, however.

Keyes is the second addition to the secondary in the NFL Draft, along with L’Jarius Sneed. The Chiefs also signed Antonio Hamilton in free agency as new faces to the unit.